Assassin’s Creed: Revelations was shown off at E3. Here’s a fact sheet and Q&A about the continuing adventures of the Wylie E Coyote of murder…
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Ship Date: November 2011
Category: Action Adventure
Rating: RP (Rating Pending)
Formats: Xbox 360, Playstation 3
When a man has won all his battles and defeated his enemies; what is left for him to achieve? Ezio Auditore must leave his life behind in search of answers, In search of the truth.
In Assassin’s Creed® Revelations, master assassin Ezio Auditore walks in the footsteps of the legendary mentor Altair, on a journey of discovery and revelation. It is a perilous path – one that will take Ezio to Constantinople, the heart of the Ottoman Empire, where a growing army of Templars threatens to destabilise the region.
In addition to Ezio’s award-winning story, a refined and expanded online multiplayer experience returns with new and additional modes, maps and characters, allowing you to test your assassin skills against others from around the world.
- BECOME DEADLIER THAN EVER –Take on the lethal skills of a wiser, more efficient and deadlier Ezio. Swiftly eliminate your adversaries by deploying a new arsenal of weapons and abilities, such as enhanced free-running and hook blade combat. Experience new levels of gameplay customisation with bomb crafting, and use heightened Eagle Vision to overcome your enemies and the environment.
- TEST YOUR SKILLS AGAINST THE BEST – A critically acclaimed multiplayer experience gets even better, with all-new team modes and unlimited replay value.
- EXPERIENCE REVOLUTIONARY GAMEPLAY – Explore the farthest reaches of the Animus as you uncover the mysteries of Desmond’s past while gaining insight into what the future might hold.
E3 Singleplayer Demo – The Constantinople Escape
Q&A – answered by: Alexandre Amancio, Creative Director
Why is Ezio in Constantinople?
Seeking answers, Ezio leaves Rome to travel to Masyaf in search of the lost library of Altair Ibn La’Ahad. Upon arrival, Ezio realizes that a very powerful artifact is hidden inside the locked library of Masyaf. If the Templars get a hold of that artifact, they will be able to crush the assassins and control humankind’s destiny. To open the library and access the artifact, five keys are needed – and all of them are in Constantinople. What began as a pilgrimage becomes a race against time between Ezio and the Templars to find these keys.
In the Demo, why is Ezio trying to leave Constantinople?
This demo occurs halfway through the game with Ezio hot on the trail of a leading Templar who possesses the last key needed to open the Masyaf crypt. This won’t be an easy task as the Janissaries, the elite Ottoman guards, are hell bent on stopping him as Ezio’s assassinated one of their high ranking officers.
Tell us more about the Janissaries.
The Janissaries are the Sultan’s personal bodyguards. An extremely well trained military corps, recruited as young as 10-12 years old and trained throughout their life, they are considered a precursor of the modern military system. Using mainly firearms, they are experts in combat and are skilled sharpshooters.
How are the Janissaries planning on stopping him?
Knowing Ezio has to leave by boat; the janissaries raised the large chain that runs across the Golden Horn which prevents any ships from entering or leaving Constantinople.
First destroyed during the Fourth Crusade, the chain was rebuilt along with the now famous Galata Tower and used to protect Constantinople from naval attacks. Counterweight in towers hold the chain together, something Ezio will take advantage of.
Constantinople is a burgeoning city, how is this reflected in the game?
Constantinople is a city that spans two continents – Europe and Asia. In 1511, it was the crossroads of the world, as it was the center of commercial trade. It was home to all great civilizations since ancient times; Greeks, Romans and Ottomans have all claimed Constantinople as theirs. Thus, the city is a great cosmopolitan metropolis, with inhabitants from different parts of the world forming a mosaic of cultures. It is a very immersive city, it’s crowded and exotic which makes the entire ambiance unique. The city has four different districts, each with its own unique flavor and architectural style. For example, for the first time in Assassin’s Creed history, we have a city that is mostly built from wood –very ornate, and busy in its design.
The demo begins in what looks like a market, is that typical of Constantinople?
The E3 demo takes place in the Imperial North district. As one of Constantinople’s many ports, this busy part of the city is host to multiple markets with spice shops, butchers, fishmonger, tailors and other stores. The spice market seen in this demo is very typical of Constantinople’s city life. A dynamic city full of life and people – a crowd Ezio will have to push and shove to move across.
Who is the person Ezio is talking to in the beginning of the demo?
Yusuf is the leader of the Constantinople assassins order. He’ll be the one to show Ezio the ropes in this new city. Yusuf has been quite satisfied for many years as the head of the Assassins in Constantinople. Despite his tendency to self-aggrandize in the most amusing way possible, Yusuf is a charismatic leader and has kept the Assassin’s brotherhood intact through difficult times, protecting the innocent from the powerful.
Who are the people Ezio used to distract the Janissary?
The Romani, often referred to as Gypsies, are a new faction in Assassin’s Creed Revelations. With two dancers, one fire breather and one guitarist, they are sure to make an impression – and distract anyone.
The Romani are a stateless people originally from the eastern reaches of Persia. Over many centuries their population migrated west, eventually reaching as far as Eastern Europe and northern Africa. Sometimes referred to as Gypsies, this unflattering term arose from the misapprehension that the Romani originated in Egypt.
Players will be able to craft their own bombs in Assassin’s Creed Revelations, what is the one Ezio uses?
In Assassin’s Creed Revelations, we created a crafting system that is simple to use without compromising its depth; we managed to find a system that covered both. Usually in video games, you need to find a specific list of ingredients to craft a unique item. In our game, we have the complete opposite; we created a non-linear crafting system where every combination of ingredients actually creates something useful. Each bomb can be created to fit your style of play and the situations you are confronted with. Experimentation is key; sometimes happy mistakes are the most useful. However, there isn’t an infinite amount of bombs. Each bomb must be crafted using components collected throughout the game. More common components are available in shops or in the Assassins dens. Others might be found only in a specific part of town, or by looting guards.
All these different bombs interact with low-levels of the game; basically we are letting players modify the gameplay to their liking. For example, in the demo, Ezio uses a bomb which produces a thick smoke screen. Ezio can then assassinate targets caught in the smoke without being noticed. He can also use it a screen to block the view of guards and pass by without being noticed. It’s a very versatile system which can be adjusted to each player play style.
How come Ezio is able to see through the thick smoke screen?
With age comes wisdom. In this demo, Ezio uses his evolved instincts, his Eagle Sense. Eagle Sense is a natural step forward as Ezio can instinctively pick up cues in the environment to analyze a situation and formulate a strategic response. As showcased, he uses it this to feel and visualize where enemies are around him. But it also provides an approximation of where enemies will go. It also allows you to detect traitors in the crowd. For example, you can scan a crowd to feel the heartbeat of each person and detect who the traitor is.
For the linear sequences, Eagle Sense enables players to use Ezio’s abilities and be able to pick up environmental clues to help them get unstuck.
Ezio slides down a zipline using his Hookblade, what is this new gameplay?
The Hookblade is an Ottoman modification to the classic Hidden Blade that allows you expand navigation and combat options. It improves flow by increasing Ezio’s mobility. It enables free running to be more fluid, speeds it up and makes the overall navigation experience more fun. The Hookblade itself is an eagle head whose beak creates a hook. This hooks up to elements in the environment and enables Ezio to propel himself (or someone else). It’s a very dynamic and versatile weapon.
With the Hookblade, the player will be able to use Ziplines to navigate from roof to roof across larger streets or gaps. It also enables you to fast-travel through the city. Unlike traditional fast-travel were you are passive as the world loads, with the Zipline, you are active. For example, you can unhook from the Zipline and drop onto enemies for an air assassination.
Ezio is assisted by Assassins, the ability to call assassins in combat is back?
As you can see, you are still able to call your brotherhood for assistance during a fight or to assassinate a target. In Assassin’s Creed Revelations, we are giving your assassin recruits more personality, making them more meaningful to the player. There are more options to customize the assassins by selecting their weapons and their class. We also added more missions related to the assassins: new recruitment missions, as well as missions when they reach specific levels in their progression. We’ll be more revealing more about that in our future communications.
Ezio uses what seems to be a flamethrower, this existed?
The Byzantine Empire used “Greek Fire” machines, an incendiary weapon typically used in naval battles. As you can see in the demo, it was a pretty powerful and effective machine. The Hand-held siphons used by Ezio appeared as early as the 10th century and were used extensively by the Byzantine during naval warfares.
The demo is impressive; will there be more of these “wow” moments in the game?
As you can see in Revelations, the team is revamping presentation. It is an evolution in the series as the game includes multiple epic sequences with high production values – all playable like the demo. They are intense moments of high adventure punctuating your overall experience. Yet, the evolution of presentation is not strictly about revamped missions design, cinematic and in-game camera work but also about characters and performance. We have a cinematic shader in cut scenes which enables us to show pores and scar details, and all of the other in-game graphics which have been improved – the game is truly beautiful. We are also rethinking how we integrate performance of actors. We have a new tool called MOCAM, created here at Ubisoft, which captures key features in the actor’s face and translates the performance directly into the engine.
Multiplayer Demo – Manhunt
Q&A – Answered by: Andreane Meunier, Online Producer
What mode will players get to experience at the Assassin’s Creed Revelations booth?
The mode players will get to enjoy is manhunt.
Could you please explain the “Manhunt” mode?
Manhunt is a team-based mode with 2 teams of 4 people, where half are predators (seeking to kill their targets) and half are prey (seeking to evade their pursuers). The prey must work together to avoid and stun their pursuers, whereas the predators try to eliminate their targets as quickly and often as possible. A round lasts four minutes, following which a second round begins where the roles are reversed. A total session lasts 8 minutes, where the total team scores are calculated and a winning team is declared.
Why did you choose to showcase this mode in particular?
Manhunt is a really fun mode because it allows every player to have two very different experiences in every round, where they feel both the stress of being pursued and the thrill of being the hunter. Team strategies strongly come into play as scoring on both sides heavily encourages group behavior.
The demo is set in Rhodes, what can you tell us about this map?
Sitting just off the coast of modern-day Turkey in the eastern Mediterranean sea, the island of Rhodes has changed hands more times than a tarnished Ottoman coin. Formerly occupied by Greeks, Romans, Persians, Turks, and Byzantines, Rhodes was captured in 1309 by the Knights Hospitallers. Over the next 200 years, the Hospitallers transformed the island into a nearly impregnable fortress, building many of the magnificent castles and palaces that still exist today. Now, at the beginning of the sixteenth century, the Hospitallers continue to hold their ground in the face of constant threats from the encroaching Ottomans.
Will there be new characters? If so, can you name and describe them?
Yes there will be 4 characters to choose from in the E3 demo. They are:
- The Vanguard. A Cossack from Odessa, The Vanguard was spurred into military service by the threat of Ottomans encroaching on her homeland. After many years of faithful service as a scout and spy, the Templars approached her with offers of wealth and power in exchange for loyalty. Seeing this as an opportunity strike at the heart of the Empire, she accepted gladly.
- The Guardian. As the estranged cousin of the first Sultan of the Sennar Sultanate, The Guardian, has a deep hatred for rulers who claim divine mandates. After being chased from eastern Africa by his own family in 1505, the Guardian traveled north to Alexandria and soon found solace in the Templars’ worldy ideology: Peace through Order and Stability. Calling himself, Guardian of the Truth, he now fights to make this worldview a reality.
- The Bombardier. The Bombardier is a member of the Ottoman artillery corps with secret ties to the Quizilbash, a rebellious group of anti-Ottoman dissidents from the east. A skilled and conceited man, he desires power and influence, and has come to feel that military service is beneath him. He maintains close and constant contact with the Templars, selling them weapons and information in exchange for money and access to powerful people.
- The Deacon. Publicly shamed and humiliated by the Patriarch of Constantinople for “actions unbecoming the Eastern Orthodox Faith”, The Deacon has spent a decade plotting revenge against his former masters. No longer a believer in the doctrine that he once espoused so passionately, he now uses his nominal position in the church to erode it from within and further the Templars’ ideology.